News Nosh 6.15.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday June 15, 2017
Quote of the Day:
"I'll let you know if I happen to start a coup."
--Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev responded in jest after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu informed her via telephone that she would be prime minister in his place during the two days he is abroad in Cyprus.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
News Summary:
A man who opposes US President Donald Trump opened fire on Republican Congressmen, injuring one, a fire broke out in a London residential tower and David Grossman became the first Israeli author to win the prestigious Booker Prize making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Author David Grossman and his translator, Jessica Cohen, will split the £50,000 Man Booker prize for Grossman's latest work, "A Horse Walks Into a Bar." Cohen already announced she would donate her prize money to B'Tselem. 
Meanwhile, Maariv led with a report by top political commentator Ben Caspit, who asked whether an historic change has taken place in Iran with the landslide win of reformists, Haaretz+ led with a report that US President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt will visit the country soon and discuss core issues with both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to renew peace talks, Yedioth also revealed a very interesting piece of news, which it buried on page 12, according to which Israel will allow Palestinian pilgrims to fly from Israel to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj "in a symbolic act ahead of normalization," wrote Yedioth's top diplomatic affairs correspondent Itamar Eichner. The US, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel are holding secret talks to coordinate the first charter flight solely for Palestinian pilgrims from Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport to Saudi Arabia, with a short stop - probably in Jordan - in order to make the flight seem acceptable, since Israel and Saudi Arabia officially have no diplomatic connections. The flight will be operated by a foreign airline, neither Israeli nor Saudi. 
And although Trump’s envoy plans to come here to discuss how to end the occupation and create a Palestinian state, Yedioth revealed that right-wing Israeli politicians were outraged that an Arab Israeli MK was planning on participating in and giving a speech at a UN event marking 50 years of occupation. Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said it was “shameful – a crossing of all red lines” and promised to work to prevent her from attending. But MK Aida Touma-Suleiman said, “My job, as the representative of a public that supports the end of the occupation, is to make my voice heard.” Other Israeli speakers include the executive director of B'Tselem, Hagai El-Ad, and Israel's former foreign minister, Shlomo Ben-Ami. Culture Minister Miri Regev told Touma-Suleiman: "Go to the Muqata'a [Palestinian leadership headquarters in Ramallah – OH], and see who will pay attention to you there." (Maariv) Regev also responded to her critics about opposition to financing an anti-occupation performance at the Acco Theater Festival: "You [left-wingers] have a suicidal tendency, stay in the opposition and we will be rule."

Quick Hits: 

  • Tillerson backtracks statement on Palestinian Authority funding of terrorist families, then contradicts himself - Both Israel and the Palestinians rejected the secretary of state's claim that the Palestinians agreed to stop funding terrorists' families. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israeli Summer Camps Told to Ease Up on Jerusalem Activities - Some found to be taking theme too far, but say they were only following Education Ministry guidelines. (Haaretz+) 
  • The settlers are furious: Government approved the expansion of Qalqiliya - The plan for the expansion of the Palestinian city includes the construction of more than 14,000 housing units on an area of more than 2,500 dunams. Chairman of the Samaria Council: "This is seven times what the Jewish municipal councils received." (Maariv
  • Ex-Peace Now activist launches hunger strike against occupation in front of PM's Residence - 'My action is a step intended to arouse hope,' archaeologist Avi Ofer, 62, says. (Haaretz+) 
  •  Turkey Holds Naval Drill Off Cyprus in Heated Response to Israeli Commando Exercise on Its Doorstep - Haaretz previously reported that Israel's drill, its largest-ever commando exercise, caused friction with Turkey in the latest chapter of tensions caused by the search for natural gas in the sea off Cyprus's coast. (Haaretz)
  • (Mother of soldier missing in Gaza) Leah Goldin: "We never demanded that the government cut off electricity to Gaza" - The mother of the missing soldier Hadar Goldin said to the lobby for the return of the missing soldiers' that "in the prisons in Israel there are Hamas murderers living in luxury conditions while holding my son.. We never demanded that the government cut off the electricity in Gaza. We demand that the government pressure Hamas, and we demand that the government implement the cabinet's decisions that every humanitarian gesture towards Gaza, (is) in terms of advancing the return of Hadar Goldin and Shaul Oron." (Maariv)
  • High Court Rules With AG Protests, Not Cops - Judge knocks down police position that protests outside Attorney General's house could be banned. (Haaretz)
  • Police refuse freedom of information request by Haaretz on women murdered by partners - It's feared that a large percentage of the murdered women had requested police protection, and that the police apparently failed to protect them. (Haaretz+) 
  • Justice Ministry to tackle increase in murder of women - The Justice Ministry is aiming to tackle the recent worrying surge of cases of women killed by spouses or relatives by changing the criteria of what constitutes murder, amending it to now include 'depraved indifference' as well. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli public security minister slams Justice Ministry for shielding offenders - Ministry preventing transfer of information about job seekers’ criminal records to private institutions in the name of protecting privacy, Gilad Erdan says. (Haaretz+) 
  • Netanyahu gifts probe won't end before the fall - The prime minister will be questioned several more times in the coming months and confronted with all suspicions against him, while investigators try to understand the nature of his relationship with Arnon Milchan. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Rejecting criticism, PM says post-Gaza war concerns addressed - In official response to state comptroller's report on Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014, PMO says majority of criticism in report has been addressed, other aspects being improved in wake of Amidror committee's recommendations. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli cop arrested again on suspected sex crime against minor - The policeman is suspected of exposing himself to a 6-year-old girl. (Haaretz
  • Lies unveiled in the death investigation of IDF officer during military race - Capt. (res.) Elhanan Brezner died in a military race in the Jordan Valley three months ago; the inquiry commission reveals that some of the exercise files were written in retrospect and that an officer lied about the matter; as a result, two officers were dismissed, a deputy brigade commander and a staff officer were reprimanded and two officers will probably face trial. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Author angered after school turns book on Jerusalem diversity into 'Judeocentric' lesson - Shoham Smith calls the worksheet the 'sodomization' of her story's original pluralistic message. (Haaretz+) 
  • Miri Regev serves as acting prime minister - Netanyahu flies to Greece on diplomatic trip, notifying Min. of Culture Regev that she will serve as acting PM; Regev humorously responds: 'I'll let you know if I happen to start a coup.' (Ynet)
  • Hundreds of Students Throughout Israel Protest Bennett's New University Ethics Code  -Call on Prof. Asa Kasher, who wrote code at Israeli education minister's request, to resign. (Haaretz+) 
  • Israeli Government Buckles to Unions, Guarantees 1,250 Port Jobs Until 2030 - Transportation and Finance ministries do an about-face and promise unions unneeded work at a cost to taxpayers of up to $600 million. (Haaretz
  • Asylum Seekers in Israel Say New Law Robs Them of Wages - Withholding of 20 percent of their salaries designed to encourage them to leave country. (Haaretz
  • Parents and uncle of slain Israeli teen arrested on suspicion of murder - Henriette Karra, from a Christian family, had filed a complaint against her parents, saying her mother threw a pot at her because she objected to her seeing a Muslim boy. (Haaretz+) 
  • Ultra-Orthodox Female Pilot Makes History by Flying Netanyahu to Greece - Nechama Spiegel-Novack becomes first female Haredi pilot to fly sitting prime minister on official visit; El Al pilot learned to fly in the United States. (Haaretz and Yedioth/Ynet)  
  • Commander who refused order asks soldiers not to rebel - Maj. Manny Eitan, who was ousted for refusing to wake his soldiers for an exercise, asks his former soldiers not to rebel, but to 'raise your head and go on'; IDF Spokesperson: 'Refusal of any kind undermines basic foundations on which a military organization is based.' (Yedioth/Ynet) 
  • Drop in national service volunteers amid increase in girls in the IDF - Hundreds of volunteer positions remain vacant across the country, but head of Administration for National-Civic Service says IDF enlistment of religious women is not the sole factor, noting Shin Bet, Mossad and government ministries add new, more appealing volunteer posts. (Yedioth/Ynet) 
  • Israel's U.S. envoy at pride event: 'Hatred toward LGBT community threatens all of us' - Taleen Abu Hanna, a past winner of the 'Miss Trans Israel' beauty pageant, is among the speakers featured at a pride month event held at Israel's embassy in Washington. (Haaretz+) 
  • Netanyahu 'reserved' about extending envoy Danny Danon’s UN term - The former Likud lawmaker had expected to serve four years in the post, but the PM has been evasive about extending his term. (Haaretz+) 
  • Palestinian Authority attacks Hamas, calls Gaza 'the second Nakba' - In unusually powerful statement by Palestinian Authority to mark the 10th anniversary of the Gaza coup, the PA says Hamas has created 'the second Nakba that has befallen our people ... Hamas has turned Gaza into an intolerable hell.' (Ynet
  • Abbas mulls declaring Gaza a rebel district, PA official says - Hamas controls Gaza Strip since its brutal takeover 10 years ago • PA will declare state of emergency, freeze Hamas assets, issue arrest warrants for group's operatives • Israeli officials do not support move, as time is not right for such action. (Israel Hayom)
  • CAS to hear Palestinian FA appeal over FIFA decision - A petition was filed by the Palestinian Football Association with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in an attempt to annul FIFA's decision not to vote on the motion aimed at ordering the Israel Football Association to stop holding games in the West Bank. (Agencies, Ynet
  • New Zealand PM: We didn't apologize to Israel, we stand by UN anti-settlement resolution - In clarification, New Zealand premier says his country was only voicing regret at diplomatic schism their support for the resolution caused, not for supporting the resolution. (Haaretz)
  • WATCH Australian Embassy in Israel marks arrival of new ambassador with humorous video - The video, made by outgoing Ambassador Dave Sharma, purports to reveal 'the embassy's top secret handover brief' for incoming Ambassador Chris Cannan. (Haaretz
  • Franco-German channel pulls anti-Semitism documentary - Channel ARTE is accused of biased censorship after shelving a documentary about anti-Semitism in Europe, saying it was not 'balanced' and the topic was 'very sensitive.' (Ynet
  • Switzerland votes to ban funding anti-Semitic groups - NGO Monitor watchdog lauds vote by Swiss Federal Assembly, says it marks "fundamental change" in European funding policy • Vote follows reports that Switzerland channels funds through body that supports BDS campaign and wages lawfare against Israel. (Israel Hayom
  • Jordan Decides Not to Ban 'Wonder Woman' Over Gal Gadot After All - 'The film was allowed to screen in Jordanian cinemas due to a lack of legal precedent to do otherwise.' (JTA, Haaretz
  • Never-before-seen Photos of Palestinian Mufti With Hitler Ties Visiting Nazi Germany - The six pictures of Haj Amin al-Husseini visiting Nazi Germany are opening on the auction block at $10,000. (Haaretz
  • Kosovo Charges Nine Men With Plotting Attacks at Albania-Israel World Cup Match - The November 2016 game took place as planned though in a different location as a security measure; Israel won 3-0. (Haaretz
  • Jeff Sessions Eviscerated on Twitter for His 'Offensive' Reference to 'Jewish AIPAC' - Uttered during his widely-viewed Senate testimony, the Trump official's phrase has sparked a social media debate about his description of the pro-Israel lobby as 'Jewish.’ (Haaretz+) 
  • Qatar closed deal to purchase F-15 from Air Energy - The deal, valued at $12 billion and which reportedly includes 36 aircraft, was made despite statements by US President Donald Trump against Qatar over supporting terror in the wake of the Persian Gulf crisis. (Agencies, Maariv)
  • The West is in shock: a crushing victory for moderates in Iran - Beyond Rohani's achievement, it now appears that in the municipal elections, the reformists defeated their conservative rivals. According to some intelligence assessments, the government understands that it has lost control and is allowing the people to "release steam." (Maariv)

How many settlers really live in the West Bank? Haaretz investigation reveals
Over the last 30 years, eight new settlements have been built and Israeli population in West Bank grew by 330,000 ■ The settlements, from 1967 till today - an in-depth analysis. (Yotam Berger, Haaretz+)
Exposed: Medical experiments on missing Yemenite children
Israel Hayom reveals previously unseen testimony showing that in early years of the state, not only were children who died autopsied without consent, doctors also performed unauthorized tests on live children • MK Nurit Koren: This was a great crime. (Yair Alterman, Israel Hayom
Hostility and humiliation: The 'welcome' awaiting tourists at Israel's border crossings
Visitors complain about long waiting times and service with a snarl at Israel's border crossings, especially Allenby Bridge on the Israel-Jordan border. 'They treated me like garbage' says one unhappy traveler. (Gili Melnitcki, Haaretz+)
Fact Check: Is Qatar Supporting Terrorism? A Look at Its Ties to Iran, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood
Last week, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed ties with Qatar amid a slew of punitive measures after accusing it of supporting terrorism. (Haaretz)
Why Israel Is Spending Millions on Orthodox Missionary Work — and How This Empowers the Settlers
The idea isn’t so much to turn Israelis into Orthodox Jews, but to get them to identify with the worldview of a party identified with settlements, says one critic. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)
The real revelation hidden inside Netanyahu's plan to leave settlers in Palestine (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) As usual, the logic on which the Israeli PM bases his 'peace' proposals does not take into account the Palestinian vision.
Bennett’s ‘peace’ plan: I’ll dictate, you’ll sign (Aviad Kleinberg, Yedioth/Ynet) In the Bayit Yehudi leader’s world, the other side doesn’t exist. Peace is not a move in which we recognize the other and try to get the other to agree, but a one-sided move which reflects our demographic, security and cultural needs exclusively.
Who's in Favor of Massacre? (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) One more hour in Gaza without electricity, and the signal there will be given: Qassam rockets. Israel once again will be the victim, and the massacre will begin. 
Gaza is definitely Israel’s problem (Ronni Shaked, Yedioth/Ynet) Despite the underground barrier and border fence, Gaza cannot be disconnected from Israel, and Israel cannot be disconnected from Gaza. It’s time to think outside the box. Now that Abbas is breaking off ties with the strip, we must start talking to Hamas—before another round of war leads to an unnecessary disaster. 
Trying to keep the lights on in Gaza (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Israel says the Gaza electricity crisis is an internal Palestinian matter, but it is quietly working to help find a solution • Israel worries that the crisis may prompt Hamas to launch another armed clash as a way of regaining its status. 
Netanyahu, Bennett and Regev are afraid of the truth (Yoav Fromer, Yedioth/Ynet) As a government loses ethical legitimacy, its ideological infrastructure turns into a house of cards. Every critical gust of wind threatens to bring it down, forcing it to defend itself through radical measures like censorship and persecution. 
The Democratic Camp Is Learning How to Fight (Uri Misgav, Haaretz+) With manifestations of fundamentalism, fascism, McCarthyism and populism, you don't make friends and you don't conduct 'dialogue.' 
Trump leak an intelligence catastrophe (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) If there is even a grain of truth in the New York Times report that the classified information Trump disclosed to the Russians came from an Israeli cyber attack on ISIS, it is likely to cause serious damage to intelligence abilities that were acquired with a lot of hard work and at great risk. 
The joint effort to end Hamas (Dr. Col. (res.) Moshe Elad, Israel Hayom) The electricity crisis is a joint effort by Israel and the Palestinian Authority to break Hamas: Israel is done footing the Gazan electric bill, while the Palestinian Authority yearns to return to Gaza.
No Questions, No Problems (Emilie Moatti, Haaretz+) Israel's right-wing leadership has run out of answers, and the effective way to avoid seeking them is to uproot the questions 
Before objecting, professors should actually read ethical code (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) Most of the politics in academia has nothing to do with the right or left, but rather with friendships, cliques and schools of research. However, academics could use an ethical code that will occasionally remind them where they come from and what they will leave behind when they retire. 
Asa Kasher shot himself and his occupation in the foot – there is nothing more political than his code of ethics (Ran Adelist, Maariv) The real test of the ethical code will be when it is implemented in the field. For example, when a complaint about a lecturer who says something that a student doesn’t like and it wakes the academic experience out of its sleep and ignites the political debate. 
Arabs Are Still in Shock About the LGBT Community (Abed L. Azab, Haaretz+) I confess, with all due respect: Instinctively, I’m still put off by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. But in my mind I accept them. 
"The leftist returns," but MK Erel Margalit's condescension and arrogance are problematic (Avraham Tirosh, Maariv) The Labor Party needs to attract potential Likud voters from among the Sephardim. But Ariel Margalit is not the man who can carry out the mission. 
No free lunch (Dr. Edy Cohen, Israel Hayom) Iran is the big winner in the current crisis between the Arab states and Qatar. The Islamic republic has positioned itself as Qatar's savior, for a price. 
Iran gaining foothold in the region and nearing Israeli border (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) Tehran has completed the first stage of its 'annexation' plan in an effort to establish its hegemony in the region and create territorial contiguity all the way to Israel's border with Jordan.

'Unilateral disengagement from Gaza Strip was a mistake'
Former GOC Central Command Yair Naveh: If the disengagement proved anything, it is that terrorism has nothing to do with settlements • There's no doubt Israel was unable to create any sort of security advantage, neither in Gaza nor in Samaria, he says. (Interviewed by Mati Tuchfeld in Israel Hayom)

Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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